Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Go see Pan's Labyrinth as soon as you get the chance. It is one of the best movies I've seen in a while. It's quite a bit different than I expected (much more focusing on the real world than the fantasy one) but I found it to be extremely satisfying. A moment after the credits began to roll I tried to stand up, but ended up sitting back down for a bit longer. The movie just kind of hit me. Excellent.
Some of you may be turned off by the violence in this movie. Certain scenes are very harsh.

There's a brief, yet good interview with Guillermo del Toro at the Onion A.V. Club. But be warned: it contains some major spoilers you may not want to read before seeing the movie.

The part of the interview of most interest to me was a comment toward the end: "So I have eight to 10 screenplays written and unproduced. And frankly, some of them are my favorite stories. I have a Western version of The Count Of Monte Cristo where the count has a clockwork hand."
I want to see that movie really bad! Cristo is one of my favorite classic novels and I'd love to see Guillermo's take on it. I know it would be badass. And clockwork hands are the shit.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Welcome To The Toy Zoo

Meet Melinda:

It likes the number 6, eats vegetables, drinks lemonade, and has a vice like grip.

You can find more like Melinda here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Two Stories To Make You
Depressed Forever:

Warning: If you don't want to be pissed off and miserable for a considerable amount of time to come do not read the following two stories. I only post them because I'm a complete curmudgeon.

Teens' cookie deliveries crumble into $900 lawsuit
A neighbor says an anxiety attack sent her to the hospital after two girls dropped treats on her porch.
By Electa Draper

The Denver Post

Durango, Colo. -- Two teenage girls trying to perform an act of kindness for their neighbors ended up being slapped with a medical bill for $900 after one neighbor suffered an anxiety attack when they knocked on her door at 10:30 p.m. delivering homemade cookies.

The incident began July 31, 2004, when the girls, Taylor Ostergaard, 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitti, 18, decided to skip a dance and stay home and bake cookies for their neighbors.

Big mistake.

They were successfully sued for an unauthorized cookie drop on one porch. The deliveries consisted of half a dozen chocolate chip and sugar cookies accompanied by big hearts cut out of red or pink construction paper with the message: "Have a great night." The notes were signed, "Love, The T and L Club," code for Taylor and Lindsey.

At one of the nine scattered rural homes south of Durango where they delivered cookies that night, a 49-year-old woman became so terrified by the knocks on her door around 10:30 p.m. that she called the sheriff's department. Deputies determined that no crime had been committed.

But Wanita Renea Young ended up in the hospital emergency room the next day after suffering a severe anxiety attack she thought might be a heart attack.

A Durango judge Thursday awarded Young almost $900 to recoup her medical bills. She received nothing for pain and suffering.

"The victory wasn't sweet," Young said Thursday afternoon. "I'm not gloating about it. I just hope the girls learned a lesson."

Taylor's mother, Jill Ostergaard, said her daughter "cried and cried" after Judge Doug Walker handed down his decision in La Plata County Small Claims Court.

"She felt she was being punished for doing something nice," Jill Ostergaard said.

The judge said he didn't think the girls acted maliciously, but it was pretty late at night for them to be out. He didn't award any punitive damages.

Taylor and Lindsey declined to comment Thursday, saying only that they didn't want to say anything hurtful. Young said the girls showed "very poor judgment."

Just as dusk arrived a little after 9 p.m., Taylor and Lindsey began their deliveries. They didn't stop at houses that were dark. But where lights shone, the girls figured people were awake and in need of cookies. A kitchen light was on at Young's home.

Court records contain half a dozen letters from neighbors who said they enjoyed the unexpected treats. But Young, at home with her 18-year-old daughter and elderly mother, said she saw shadowy figures who banged and banged at her door. She thought they were burglars or some neighbors she had tangled with in the past, she said.

The girls wrote letters of apology to Young, with Taylor saying in part, "I just wanted you to know that someone cared about you and your family."

The families had offered to pay Young's medical bills if she would agree to indemnify the families against future claims. Young wouldn't sign the agreement. She said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person, so she brought the matter to court.

Video: As family shrieks, police kill dog

COOKEVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- Police video released Wednesday showed a North Carolina family kneeling and handcuffed, who shrieked as officers killed their dog -- which appeared to be playfully wagging its tail -- with a shotgun during a traffic stop.

The Smoak family was pulled over the evening of January 1 on Interstate 40 in eastern Tennessee by officers who mistakenly suspected them of a carjacking. An investigation showed James Smoak had simply left his wallet on the roof of his car at a gas station, and motorists who saw his money fly off the car as he drove away called police.

The family was driving through eastern Tennessee on their way home from a New Year's trip to Nashville. They told CNN they are in the process of retaining a lawyer and considering legal action against the Cookeville, Tennessee, Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol for what happened to them and their dog.

In the video, released by the THP, officers are heard ordering the family, one by one, to get out of their car with their hands up. James Smoak and his wife, Pamela, and 17-year-old son Brandon are ordered onto their knees and handcuffed.

"What did I do?" James Smoak asks the officers.

"Sir, inside information is that you was involved in some type of robbery in Davidson County," the unidentified officer says.

Smoak and his wife protest incredulously, telling the officers that they are from South Carolina and that their mother and father-in-law are traveling in another car alongside them.

The Smoaks told CNN that as they knelt, handcuffed, they pleaded with officers to close the doors of their car so their two dogs would not escape, but the officers did not heed them.

Pamela Smoak is seen on the tape looking up at an officer, telling him slowly, "That dog is not mean. He won't hurt you."

Her husband says, "I got a dog in the car. I don't want him to jump out."

The tape then shows the Smoak's medium-size brown dog romping on the shoulder of the Interstate, its tail wagging. As the family yells, the dog, named Patton, first heads away from the road, then quickly circles back toward the family.

An officer in a blue uniform aims his shotgun at the dog and fires at its head, killing it immediately.

For several moments, all that is audible are shrieks as the family reacts to the shooting. James Smoak even stands up, but officers pull him back down.

"Y'all shot my dog! Y'all shot my dog!" James Smoak cries. "Oh my God! God Almighty!"

"You shot my dog!" screams his wife, distraught and still handcuffed. "Why'd you kill our dog?"

"Jesus, tell me, why did y'all shoot my dog?" James Smoak says.

The officers bring him to the patrol car, and the family calms down, but still they ask the officers for an explanation. One of them says Patton was "going after" the officer.

"No he wasn't, man," James Smoak says. "Y'all didn't have to kill the dog like that."

Brandon told CNN Patton, was playful and gentle -- "like Scooby-Doo" -- and may have simply gone after the beam of the flashlight as he often did at home, when Brandon and the dog would play.

The Tennessee Department of Safety, which oversees the Highway Patrol, has said an investigation is under way.

Cookeville Police Chief Robert Terry released a statement on the department's Web site Wednesday night describing the department's regret over the incident.

"I know the officer wishes that circumstances could have been different so he could have prevented shooting the dog," Terry wrote. "It is never gratifying to have to put an animal down, especially a family pet, and the officer assures me that he never displayed any satisfaction in doing so."

Terry said he and the vice-mayor of Cookeville met with the family before they left "to convey our deepest sympathies" for the loss of their dog.

"No one wants to experience this kind of thing, and it's very unfortunate that it occurred," he wrote. "If we had the benefit of hindsight, I'm sure some -- if not all of this -- could have been avoided. I believe the Tennessee Highway Patrol feels the same way."

The department is conducting an investigation to determine what, if anything, could have been done differently, he said. Police also plan to be in contact with the Smoak family, Terry said.

The Smoaks buried their pet at home. A white cross marks the grave.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


The functionality of this thing is mouth watering. Check it out at the official site.
Too bad I won't be able to afford one for about ten years.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years Wiiv '06

Yes, I'm calling it that. Deal with it.

The party supposedly started at 7:00.

Here's what it looked like at 7:30 -

And 8:30 -

Around 9ish the first guest arrives -

Then awesomeness ensues -

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Worst Year Ever

I hereby declare 2006 to have the worst holiday movie season ever. When my family was in town we briefly considered going to movie one day. Fortunately the timing was not good and we ended up watching a DVD at my place. I say fortunately, because after looking at the movie line up, we were better off not watching anything at all. What the hell happened to the sweet Christmas movie selection?
Here's the selection at the biggest theater in town:
Dreamgirls (PG-13)
Black Christmas (R)
The Good Shepherd (R)
Night at the Museum (PG)
We Are Marshall (PG)
Rocky Balboa (PG)
Charlotte's Web (G)
Eragon (PG)
The Pursuit of Happyness (PG-13)
Apocalypto (R)
Blood Diamond (R)
The Holiday (PG-13)
Unaccompanied Minors (PG)
The Nativity Story (PG)
Casino Royale (PG-13)
Happy Feet (PG)
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (G)

zzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZ-- Oh, I'm sorry. I must have dozed off.

Where is The Good German, or The Fountain, or Children of Men, or Pan's Labyrinth, or Perfume: Story of a Murderer? Or something remotely interesting that I kind of want to see...
I saw Apocalypto on Christmas day, and that was pretty much it. That was the extent of my interest. And while I enjoyed it, it definitely wasn't enough to tide me over until whatever the big summer movie is. Spidey 3, I guess.
So it's the worst year ever. And I'm including all the years before movies were invented.

Oh, and the DVD I watched with the family was Little Miss Sunshine, which I highly recommend. Also, I saw the Strangers With Candy movie last night and I recommend that as well.

Well, that's enough ranting for now. Good luck finding something to watch.